Tuesday, September 6

R & R Heller: The 13th Apostle

From the back of the book-
In the ruins of a medieval monastery in Dorset, the diary of an 11th century monk is uncovered-and the murders have already begun...
Cybersleuth Gil Pearson and expert translator Sabbie Karaim are thrown together to decipher the ancient text, rumoured to contain the location of one of the Dead Sea Scrolls-and unimaginable riches.
But what they discover is far more shocking. In their hands lies a document written by Jesus's fabled '13th apostle' which could rewrite history iteslf, sparking international terror.
Pursued by those intent on controlling the past, their frantic quest takes them across the globe as they stop at nothing to expose a two-thousand -year-old conspiracy.
Just who can you trust when you hold the fate of mankind in your hands?
I have a well-documented delight in stories based around conspiracy theory, particularly those with a religious focus. So whenever one comes my way I anticipate a great read. Since the publication of the Da Vinci Code and the lowering of standards therein entailed, I have been consistantly disappointed with the quality of the books on offer. Here I think we have hit a new low.
Every genre has its standards and expectations but that is a long way from the overt, shall I say homage, this title does to its mediocre predecessor. That is crime enough on its own but add in flat characters, poor pacing and possibly the worst dialogue ever and you have that new low I spoke of earlier.
The book opens with way too much back story and continues to, paradoxically, give too much detail and yet not enough. I could go on but the problems I had with it almost read like a beginners' guide as to what not to do and there are plenty of book on the market that go there. I was expecting much better from authors the front of the book claims are New York Times No. 1 bestsellers. I should have turned to their biography hidden in the back of the book where it clarifies that their previous work has been nonfiction dieting guides.
I understand the urge of authors who read a badly written book and think they could do better, I really do. But this pair should have stuck with what they know and left fiction well alone.-Lynn

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